The very first word which is given in this paragraph is yoga–siddhi. It is a very important word. Siddhi means perfection, perfection that comes by Yoga. Yoga–siddhi is a compound word. Yogena siddhi: the siddhi that comes by yoga. There are many siddhis which you can get without yoga but you don’t get that siddhi of divine life. The divine life on the earth can be attained only by a process of yoga. That is why the necessity of yoga. You cannot avoid yoga. Even those people who want to avoid yoga secretly do a yoga. As Sri Aurobindo says, “All life is yoga” whether you know it or not whether you like it or not. Mother was once asked the question: “Why should we teach yoga to the students?” This question arises because it was very often said that you should teach yoga only to those who want to do yoga. Don’t pull anybody into yoga. Don’t tell somebody: now do yoga and practice it, whether he likes it or not. It is a very wise thing, never to pull any body. So the question arises: If you have decided to do yoga then of course you teach yoga but if you have not decided to do yoga why should you be taught yoga? The answer is that everybody in this world is secretly doing yoga. Everyone. But he does it slowly, unknowingly, tardily, with a great delay. When you say I don’t want to do yoga it means that you do not want to do yoga consciously. It only means that you don’t want to do it fast. It only means that you want to linger on the route, you want to waste your time. That is the only meaning when you say: I don’t want to do yoga. But anybody who wants to move fast, anybody who wants perfection even if he may not know the word yoga, it does not matter, the moment you are making an effort to move upwards, you are doing yoga.
In fact I examined this question myself before taking up this book. I asked whether you wanted to do yoga or not. For six months I have been waiting. And I observed whether you really wanted to do yoga and I got enough answers from each one of you that you wanted to do yoga, in one way or the other. Not that everyone has answered in the same way with the same kind of intensity but every one of you is striving for perfection. This is what I found in all your activities. Everyone has been doing intensely. So because I am sure that each one of you is striving for perfection and there is an inner demand for it in your being therefore we have taken this up. In any case, as I told you, whether you make a demand or not everybody has to practice yoga. There is a justification in any case. All life is yoga therefore to know about yoga, to learn about yoga; to do yoga is simply a normal, automatic thing to do. But in your case it is more special because consciously you are striving for perfection. And this perfection cannot come without the knowledge of yoga, without the shastra of yoga. However much you try if you do not know the shastra of yoga you cannot attain to the perfection.
Of course, there are people who come to know about yoga little by little. In the Upanishads there was one process of learning yoga. The disciple used to come to the teacher and would say: “Teach me.” Then the teacher used to give only one formula. A little sentence, not teach the whole yogic principle, not the entire book of yoga. And then he would say: “Now you meditate on it.” Years passed only on one sentence. Realisation came and then he went to the teacher again and said: “Now teach me.” Then again the teacher gave another sentence to reflect on, to meditate upon, to practice it. That is another way of learning yoga.
We have the facility of books; at that time there were no books. So we make use of the facility. Because the whole book is available, it is possible for us to read it at one stroke. Or as much as we can, that is why we take the big step to study this entire book. We shall read this in a ten year time. That is our programme: ten year programme for The Life Divine and ten years programme for The Synthesis of Yoga both combined together. Patience, do not worry if there is lot of time still to be spent on this. It is worth spending. These ten years of study are very important.
In India there was a system if you went to a teacher and said: “Teach me”, normally the teacher would say no. There used to be lot of testing to see whether you can really learn, you are worthy of learning or not. The teacher, even when he would say: “Alright I’ll teach you”, sometimes he used to test. I don’t know if you have read The Story of Initiation. It is a story told by the Mother in a class.
It is a story of a disciple who wanted to learn. Yusuf was the student. Junjun was the teacher. And the student went to the teacher and said: “I want to learn.” The teacher did not even look at him. For months he went on and on staying near the house of the teacher. And one day the teacher said to the pupil: “I have some work to give you.” Actually it was a test on the part of the teacher. He said: “I have a friend who lives on the other side of the river and I want to give him a small box. Keep it very safely, he said, be very, very, careful and give it intact, as it is.” The pupil was very happy that at last the teacher had said something to him and trusted him with something. And he took the box, went on his way. By noon it was very hot, so he rested a little while. While resting — the mind as you know is like a bazaar, a market place, so many ideas come and go —he began to think of what was contained in the box. This very simple question arose in the mind. Can I see what is contained? And he remembered that the teacher has said: “Keep it intact.” So it meant that he should not open it. It was to be kept intact, absolutely. He forgot about it and again went to rest. Again the question came to his mind. “What is in the box?” Again he argued within himself: “Can I open it? Just open it. Just have a look. I’ll do nothing. I’ll keep it intact absolutely. I won’t touch anything. I’ll just open it for a second and put it back.” Then he said: “No, no who knows, my teacher will be very displeased.” He argued pros and cons, thesis and antithesis, dialectical argument. Then again he went to rest, but this time he jumped up: “Let me just see, nothing more. Why are these arguments coming all over again? I will be free from these arguments the moment I see once. Beside the box is not locked, and if the teacher didn’t want that I should open it he would have locked it. So it means that the teacher had already given a kind of permission to me, and I can open it.” And this young man just opened the lid, only for a second and to his horror he found a small rat which jumped out and ran away. Now you can see the condition of this man. How could he keep the box intact? There was a small rat in it. It could not wait one second to remain intact. As soon as the lid was opened the rat fled away. He was so sorry, so sorry. Why did he do it? Why did he open it? With a fallen crest he went to the friend of his teacher and gave the box which was not intact. And the teacher’s friend opened the box and immediately understood what the pupil had done and he said: “My dear Yusuf you have lost a big chance. Your teacher wanted to teach you. He wanted to teach you but you cannot keep even this little thing intact. You became so impatient. You began to have this mill in your mind, so powerfully. If you can’t keep this little rat inside then this knowledge, which is such a big treasure, how will you hold it in your mind? Therefore you have failed. I feel very sorry that you have failed. But do not be despondent. It is only a first test and many more tests will come. Go back, practice patience, practice to keep your mind under control. You should not go again to the market place. Make your mind very, very quiet.” He went back to his teacher who said nothing. And again he started waiting, waiting, and waiting. He learnt the lessons of patience; he learnt the lessons of quieting the mind. A lot of tapasya he did. At last the teacher was pleased and gave him the knowledge. It is a true story. Yusuf became one of the great mystics in his own life. He himself became a teacher ultimately.